Category Archives: Related Blogs and Other Resources

Mike Aubrey’s Masters Thesis

Mike Aubrey has uploaded his anxiously awaited thesis to

The Greek perfect and the categorization of tense and aspect: Toward a descriptive apparatus for operators in Role and Reference Grammar

Click on the title to download a copy or read it online.

Mike has posted two reflections on his blog that you will find very helpful as you read his thesis. I’ve included links to those reflections below along with what he says about their value:

If you’re a Greek student/scholar. I would encourage you to read the two posts dedicated to discussing my thesis. This is because it’s not a work that’s oriented toward biblical scholars [or] to classicists. It’s a work by a linguist for linguists. The two posts I’ve put up […] on my blog are designed to provide some orientation for people whose primary interest is Greek rather than linguistics proper.

Part I: Challenges in language analysis: thesis prefatory material

Part II: Thesis Prefatory Material: A Narrative Account

Here’s the abstract that Mike included on

This thesis attempts to expand the theoretical and methodological basis for operators within Role and Reference Grammar for purposes of language description, using the Greek perfect as a test case. This requires first examining the current theoretical and methodological approach to tense and aspect in RRG and its strengths and weaknesses. Here I demonstrate that while some areas of RRG have a well-developed and robust set of theoretical and descriptive tools for language description, operators such as tense and aspect are distinctly lacking in this regard. To that end, I propose a model for tense and aspect operators that attempts to fill in the gaps that exist in RRG while also maintaining the integrity and spirit of the linguistic theory. This involves three steps. I begin with a survey of the broader typological literature on tense and aspect in order to establish a set of morphosyntactic tests for the evaluation and categorization of operators. This is followed by an application of the proposed morphosyntactic tests to a particular grammatical problem: the Greek Perfect in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the tests. I then concluded with a synthetic model for tense and aspect operators that both satisfies the theoretical and typological claims of the broader literature and also validates the existing structure of the Role and Reference Grammar framework, thereby furthering the goals of RRG as a useful theoretical model for language description.

I encourage you to take the time to look at Mike’s work.

Syntactic Analysis for Humans (“Does this analysis make my text look fat?”).

If you want to see some of what is to come in the presentation that Jonathan Robie and I will make at SBL on Monday afternoon, check out the following posts on the B-Greek forum:

If you won’t be in San Diego, you can still participate in the discussion through the B-Greek forum!

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out this earlier post.

A Beginning-Intermediate Grammar of Hellenistic Greek II

A couple of days ago I posted a note about the reprint of Robert Funk’s Beginning-Intermediate Grammar of Hellenistic Greek. At the time I was confident that most of you already knew that almost all of the content of that book is available online a no charge, so I didn’t mention it. Some of you may not know, though, so I’m including a link to the online materials below.

Funk’s Grammar Online

You can see my earlier post about the reprinted edition here:

Earlier Post

Robert E. Longacre: Obituary at LinguistList Site

Robert E. Longacre, SIL Linguist and professor at the University of Texas at Arlington passed away recently. Thank you to Mike Aubrey for pointing out the obituary posted on the LinguisList Site:

Dr. Longacre dedicated his life to advancing the work of translating the Bible into many local languages. He also contributed greatly to advancing the use of linguistics in the study of the Greek New Testament. He wrote important works on Discourse Analysis, including The Grammar of Discourse that have influenced Biblical Studies in significant ways.

Polytonic Greek on Android Smartphones

Jason Hare posted the following advice on the TextKit forum for getting Android smart phones to display polytonic Greek back in June. I thought I would share his advice here for those of you using Android phones to read this blog.

Download “Fontomizer” from the Android Market. It’s a free app. Install it. Open it and choose the Ubuntu-TTF font. Download and install it.

Go into Settings > Display > Font Style and choose Ubuntu. It displays polytonic Greek fantastically.

I hope this works for you.

Update from August 17, 2015.

The advice in this post is old. It does not work on the Android phones newer than version 4.1. The comments discuss the experiences of several readers and my responses to them. If you have anything to add about how you are using polytonic Greek on an Android phone or your frustrations with trying to do so, feel free to post your experience as a comment.

The Verb in Koine Greek

There’s a wonderful discussion of Albert Rijksbaron’s book, The Syntax and Semantics of the Verb in Classical Greek: An Introduction, going on over at the B-Greek Forum. The participants are discussing the book one section at a time, comparing it’s observations on Classical Greek to the available data for the Hellenistic Period. While the discussion is focussed largely on the New Testament, there is some attempt to reach beyond that corpus to the wider early Christian literature, and perhaps even the wider Hellenistic Koiné.

Rijksbaron’s book gives a very good overview of the verb in the Classical Period. It would be great to see a parallel treatment for Hellenistic Greek. Perhaps this discussion, with participation from advanced students as well as seasoned professors, will lead to the eventual production of such a treatment.

Take a look.

Google Group: Ancient Greek Best Practices

Paul D. Nitz introduced me this week to a new Google Group entitled Ancient Greek Best Practices. The group is intended for discussion of “the Communicative Approach.” Here’s the way their welcome page explains it:

The Ancient Greek Best Practices Group exists to discuss communicative approaches to learning/teaching Greek.  This approach views Greek as communication, not code.  This discussion board is rather disinterested in debating whether the Grammar/Translation method is superior.  We are all convinced (or deeply interested) in a Communicative Approach to teaching Ancient Greek.

The Communicative Approach can include such methods as Total Physical Response  (TPR – James Asher) and Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS – Blaine Ray), picture books and audio (Living Koine), “shadowing,” or other methods we will invent here on this discussion board.

You can join the group by here.

You can see Paul demonstrate the method with his students in Malawi on Youtube. He has posted videos of several lessons there.

I would like to thank Paul for sharing his work with me and invite him to tell us all more about it.

Updates to bibliographic entries for Bortone and Luraghi

I have updated the entries for the following two books

  • Luraghi, Silvia. On the meaning of prepositions and cases: Semantic roles in Ancient Greek. Studies in language companion series 67. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2003.
  • Bortone, Pietro. Greek prepositions from antiquity to the present. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.

in A Comprehensive Bibliography of Hellenistic Greek Linguistics. The updates include a brief description of each book and a link to Mike Aubrey’s reviews.